The McGill University Health Centre Foundation extends its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Dr Mostafa Elhilali, whose sudden death on April 29th shocked and saddened many around the world, including the Foundation.
Born in Egypt, Dr. Elhilali chose his career path at the age of 15, encouraged by his father and uncle. In 1959, he obtained his medical degree at the University of Cairo. Thereafter, he trained under talented pioneers in Egyptian urology. This is where he truly fell in love with this specialty. As a research fellow, he travelled to Canada to complete his Ph.D. at McGill University. He became certified in urology by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and was appointed Chair of Urology at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke.
In 1982, Dr. Elhilali left Sherbrooke and returned to Montreal as Chief of the Department of Urology at the Royal Victoria Hospital, then McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), and Chief of the McGill Division of Urology as well as Professor of Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. He was then named Chair of the McGill Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-chief at the MUHC (Royal Victoria and Montreal General hospitals), as well as the inaugural Jarislowsky Chair of Urology at McGill. Over the years, he served as an active member of many societies such as the Quebec Urological Association (QUA), Canadian Urological Association (CUA; former president), American Urological Association (AUA – Northeastern Section; former president), Société internationale d’urologie (SIU; former secretary-general and president), and European Urological Association.
An exceptional leader, Dr. Elhilali received many honours and awards during his career, and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and Ordre national du Québec.
Ultimately, Dr. Elhilali’s legacy is a reflection of the breadth and depth of esteem in which we was held by his peers locally, nationally and internationally; by the students he taught and mentored with conviction and joy; by the administrative leaders with whom he embraced challenges while encouraging excellence, innovation and collaboration at all times; and by the many patients to whom he was so devoted.
A family man, philanthropist, colleague and friend, Dr. Mostafa Elhilali inspired countless people to reach for the top of their fields. He will be sorely missed.